News / Africa

Report: Nigeria Has Largest Displaced Population in Africa

FILE - Families from Gwoza, Borno State, displaced by the violence and unrest caused by the insurgency, are seen at a refugee camp in Mararaba Madagali, Adamawa State, Feb. 18, 2014.
FILE - Families from Gwoza, Borno State, displaced by the violence and unrest caused by the insurgency, are seen at a refugee camp in Mararaba Madagali, Adamawa State, Feb. 18, 2014.
Heather Murdock
A new report shows that Nigeria now has the largest internally displaced population in Africa, and the third largest in the world.  In recent years, hundreds of thousands of people fled Boko Haram insurgents in the northeast but some families are returning to their homes, saying there is nowhere safe for them to hide.
 
Last month, reports circulated that residents of Kala Balge, a farming community in northeastern Nigeria, had killed 200 Boko Haram insurgents.  About ten days ago, militants came back for revenge.
 
Abba Abdulmumini, a Kala Balge community leader, said they stormed 10 villages in the area, burning homes, killing at least four people and sending thousands of people running for their lives.

“The situation is quite pathetic.  And it's like the Nigerian government is not willing to act.  People are being killed like chickens,” said Abdulmumini.

He said with no security forces in the area people wanted to keep fighting, but they ran out of ammunition.

“The fighting power of the Boko Haram insurgents cannot be matched by the local weapons around.  In fact, they have the heart to fight but they don’t have the weapons.  They don’t have the arms,” said Abdulmumini.

Those who fled found no help in a makeshift camp by the Cameroon border.  Emergency officials said the area was too dangerous for aid workers to access.
 
Some Kala Balge residents are now returning with their livestock, saying there was not enough grazing land on the other side of the border.  
 
On top of that, the militants appear able to attack at any place and any time of their choosing.  Last week about 350 people were killed in attacks on villages in Borno State, the heart of the insurgency, and one of three Nigerian states that has been under emergency rule for more than a year.  

A report released last week by the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre says there are about 3.3 million displaced people in Nigeria, making it the third-largest displaced population in the world after Syria and Colombia.
 

Emmanuel Ogebe is a Nigeria expert with the Jubilee Campaign, a Christian human rights organization.  He said the government has done little to help the displaced.

“The atrocities are continuing to worsen and the government of Nigeria needs to have a strategic human impact mitigation plan, which we don’t see," said Ogebe.
 
Khalifa Dikwa, a political analyst and former lecturer at the University of Maiduguri, said for civilians fleeing their homes, the danger was often not just from the insurgents.  
 
He said many people ran because they were caught in the crossfire.

“Both the security agents and the Boko Haram kill them.  They are not protected,” said Dikwa.
 
Abdulmumini said villagers, who returned to Kala Balge, said Boko Haram tried to take over the community after the attacks, offering to act as a de facto government.  They also went house-to-house confiscating weapons.
 
Villagers said they didn’t want to publicly discuss Boko Haram, even anonymously, for security reasons.  In the past five years, the radical group has killed thousands of people, and kidnapped hundreds of others including more than 200 schoolgirls that have been held captive for nearly two months.

(Ardo Hazzad contributed to this report from Bauchi, Ibrahima Yakubu contributed to this report from Kaduna.)

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Chidi Onuohaegbu from: Lagos Nigeria
June 09, 2014 12:14 PM
Government first displaced her citizens by running an aligarchy form of governance. The masses wept over the years and result to arms. The dearth of corruption in government has made it impossible to locate missing $20billion meant for the Nigerian masses. Displacement will continue to be a ''living thing'' until system change that will accommodate the populace.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid